Christie Ground, a 9th grade English teacher at Northwest High School, was named Montgomery County’s Teacher of the Year.
Ground, 30, of North Potomac, was named the winner Wednesday during the 10th annual Champions for Children Awards Celebration in Gaithersburg, Montgomery County Public Schools announced.
As the local winner, Ground will be in the running for the national Teacher of the Year award, an honor last earned by a Montgomery County teacher, Kim Oliver, in 2005.
At Northwest, Ground leads the freshman English teaching team and is the sponsor of the school’s creative writing club and literary magazine. She has been teaching at Northwest since 2004, school officials said. In her nomination letter, Northwest principal Lance Dempsey wrote:
“She fosters self-esteem and encourages her students to be creative, critical and analytical thinkers. As a result, more and more of the ninth-grade students are achieving at a higher level and have greater confidence in themselves and their academic abilities.”
Patch sat in on Ground’s Ulsysses Signature Honors English class before the winner was announced. Her students gushed with compliments.
“She’s a really good teacher,” said Caleb Elmore, 14. “It’s really easy to talk to her.”
The MCPS Teacher of the Year finalists received $1,000 from the Marian Greenblatt Education Fund. They will also receive an additional $2,000 from MCBRE and the event sponsors, with $1,000 going to the school.
As MCPS Teacher of the Year, Ground also receives the use of a car for one year from Fitzgerald Auto Group.
The other nominees were Judith Chinn, an AP environmental science teacher at Clarksburg High School and Heydi Dupre, a Spanish teacher, at John T. Baker Middle School.
In a statement, MCPS Superintendent of Schools Joshua P. Starr said Ground was an “innovative” and “collaborative” teacher who enjoyed being with her students.
“Congratulations to Ms. Ground and her colleagues for the tremendous work they are doing for the students of Northwest High School,” Starr said.